On Monday night in front of a packed, blue-clad house at the American Airlines Center, the San Antonio Spurs showed why you should never count them out.
Yes, the Spurs were down 2-1 against a Dallas Mavericks team that had stolen home-court advantage and destiny on its side, but the Spurs have something that this current Mavs team only wishes it had: veteran poise, which is only brought out when you are ready to close out a series or if your backs are against the wall.
The Spurs found themselves in the latter on Monday night, and many NBA pundits were wondering if they could rally back after being shot down on a last-second three-pointer by Vince Carter in Game 3. If you’re wondering if the Spurs still “have it” then you, my friend, need to go get yourself checked out at the hospital.
The Spurs have been in this situation countless times over the past 15 years, so there was no question from this writer that they would not have the juice to keep up with the up-and-coming Mavs. San Antonio was cool, calm and collected, and despite a furious comeback by Dallas, the Spurs sliced open the Mavs with crisp half-court play and a bench that finally re-emerged and reasserted its dominance.
The Spurs did not panic when their backs were against the wall. Maybe the fans in San Antonio did, but not the men in silver and black on the court in Dallas. The Spurs, as they have done for the past 15 years, stayed true to their faith in their system, and delivered a tied series heading back to the Alamo City for Game 5.
The Mavericks may have destiny on their side, but the Spurs have veteran poise. And on this night, the veterans came out victorious.